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Colby Covington Claims UFC Came With “Basic Challenger Offer” For Bout With Kamaru Usman

A scrap between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz, and not Kamaru Usman [1] versus Colby Covington [2] is set to headline UFC 244, and that’s because the latter says the promotion came with too low of an offer.

Colby Covington
Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Talk about Usman – Covington

Since Covington dominated Robbie Lawler for the decision win in August, there’s been speculation about when the former interim champ would fight his rival, and the welterweight champ, Usman. Recently ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported that talks to make Usman – Covington had hit a “snag”,  [3]and that the UFC was looking at November 2nd for the bout. Not long after, it was confirmed that Diaz – Masvidal will headline the Madison Square Garden event. So what happened?

Covington’s latest comments

Well, Covington spoke with Helwani on Monday [4], and while discussing how talks have stalled for a fight with Usman, the controversial fighter said this (quotes via MMA Junkie [5]):

“My side of the story is, I’m ready to fight, I was ready to fight, but the UFC came to be with the basic challenger’s offer,” Covington said. “I’m a champion. There was no negotiation. They came and ran at me and said, ‘Here, take this, or leave it and we’ll pass it on to the next person. That’s not fair negotiating and that’s not right. So I’m not going to take the first offer that you offer me.”

“We need to meet in the middle,” Covington said. “There’s more that needs to be done. But also, I’m the A-side and you can’t even get the B-side done with Usman. Why are we even rushing this if you can’t get the B-side done?

“Usman didn’t want to fight anybody. He didn’t want to fight me. He didn’t want to fight my ex-best friend Jorge. He didn’t want to fight Leon Scott (Leon Edwards). The problem is Usman. The problem has nothing to do with me.”

So, this where navigating between Covington’s act, and what he may or may not truly believe gets murky. It is true that he never actually lost the interim title in the cage. The UFC did away with the belt when Covington couldn’t commit to a fight with then champ, Tyron Woodley last September.

Is Covington really the A-side here? Maybe? Although, it’s worth noting Usman has over 20,000 followers more than Colby on Twitter. Covington hasn’t cracked the 100,000 mark, and it’s not really clear yet whether he’s a mainstream commodity. There’s no question that Covington has become a big name in MMA circles. But that doesn’t always translate to big pay-per-view sales.

All this aside, here’s hoping that Usman – Covington does get booked for 2019. It’s a fight that needs to happen.